WSDOT Contest: Name The Gigantic Boring Machine for Alaskan Way Tunnel

It’s been one of the most talked-about local issues since the rebuild of the West Seattle Bridge, now Washington State Department of Transportation is asking Washington State residents “what to name the world’s largest-diameter tunneling machine.”

The Washington State Department of Transportation kicked off a statewide contest for kindergarten through 12th grade students to name the machine that will dig the State Route 99 tunnel to replace the waterfront section of the Alaskan Way Viaduct. Crews in Japan are putting the finishing touches on the machine, which – at five stories tall – will be the world’s largest to date. The winning name will be painted on the machine and the contest winner will be invited to attend the dedication event next year in Seattle.

Each entry must include a proposed name for the machine and a 200-word-or-less description of why they chose it. Entries are due by 5:00 pm. Tuesday, November 13. Check WSDOT’s website for contest details, rules and restrictions.

There are three ways to enter:

  • Online at;
  • In person at Milepost 31, 211 First Ave. S., Seattle;
  • By mail at Alaskan Way Viaduct Replacement Program, 999 Third Ave., Suite 2424, Seattle, WA 98104.

The winner(s) will be announced in December, when project officials travel to Japan and Seattle Tunnel Partners takes ownership of the completed SR 99 tunnel boring machine. For more information about the SR 99 Tunnel Project, visit

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